written and illustrated by Bruce Hale
Just out! • Houghton Mifflin Books for Children • Ages 8-12
What do you get when you cross Raymond Chandler with the Marx Brothers? Chet Gecko, a wisecracking fourth-grade detective from Emerson Hicky Elementary.
Story: The 14th book in the popular mystery series begins when Chet’s favorite teacher is fired, only to be replaced by the mechanical invention of Dr. Tanya Lightov—a mysterious Russian scientist. Suddenly, the school seems possessed by forces that are upsetting the natural order of things: Kindergartners are beating up sixth graders; teachers’ pets are talking back; and worst of all, Chet’s faithful partner and best friend, Natalie Attired, has abandoned him in his hour of need. Will Chet be able to restore his friendship with Natalie and bring Emerson Hicky back to normal? One thing’s for certain: The crazy, mixed-up mastermind behind this case will be the last creature anyone expects.
Story behind the story: Where did the idea for the gecko private eye come from? "I was doing some free writing – writing without any kind of plan - and I knew I wanted to write a mystery, so I was just playing around with the detective’s narration," says Bruce Hale. "All of a sudden, it was like I could hear this voice in my head saying: 'Who am I? Chet Gecko, Private Eye. I go to fourth grade at Emerson Hicky Elementary. I’m a lizard.' I trusted the voice and went from there." Kids, teachers, and librarians have trusted it too -- this is book #14 in the popular mystery series!
Hale's website is chock-full of goodies that you and the kids will love:
• Integrate the Chet Gecko books into your classroom curriculum with the Chet Gecko Activity Booklet.
• Test your Gecko knowledge - take the Chet Gecko quiz!
FYI: all the review copies for this title have been sent and reviews are in the works; please check back and click on the "comments" link below to read what your colleagues have to say.